Health West has made arrangements for low cost labs and imaging services (such as x-rays) in your community. The services are different depending on which clinic you use. Please ask the clinic staff for more information.
Common labs your provider might order:
- CBC (complete blood count): This might be ordered to check for infections, or for anemia (a decrease in normal red blood cells). There are many values on a CBC test. Some are important to your health, others are not. Your provider will communicate to you what is important.
- CMP (complete metabolic panel): This is a panel of several tests that, when done together, is much cheaper than ordering each individual test separately. It checks things like blood glucose (sugar), sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride (commonly known as electrolytes), as well as how your kidneys and liver are doing.
- TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone): This is ordered to check how your thyroid is functioning. Your thyroid is in charge of your metabolism. Ironically, if this value is high, then your thyroid isn’t working as well as it should. If it’s low, then your thyroid is working too hard. TSH levels need to be significantly abnormal to require treatment. Your provider knows when treatment is necessary.
- Lipid Panel: This is ordered to check your cholesterol level, (both good cholesterol [HDL] and bad cholesterol [LDL] and also the fatty acids in your blood (called triglycerides). Your provider will decide how often you should have this checked and whether you need treatment or not.
- Hgb A1c (hemoglobin A1c): This might be checked when your provider suspects you have blood sugar problems. It’s also checked if you have Insulin Resistance or Diabetes. The Hgb A1c is actually an average of what your blood sugar has been over the last 3 months. Good diabetic control would usually register as a Hgb A1c of less than 7.0.
- UA (urinalysis): This is a urine test that is checked when a provider suspects a problem with the kidneys or bladder like an infection. Other tests can be done on the urine, including pregnancy tests or tests for some sexually transmitted infections.
- Microalbumin: this is a urine test that helps your provider know if your kidneys are being damaged due to blood sugar problems or other diseases. It’s usually done once a year.